Chris Panagiotou

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since Jul 13, 2019
Alaska
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Recent posts by Chris Panagiotou

Douglas Alpenstock wrote:My only comment is that it depends on how long you want the building to last, and how much maintenance you're willing to do to keep it free of rot and destructive insects.

I know people with a large log cabin on a lake. It's now 40 years old. Gorgeous, but the annual maintenance on that thing is ridiculous.



Thanks Douglas, that is a very good point to consider that I had not thought of!
Considering building a workshop and house and am trying to decide between log building and timberframe building. Anyone have any thoughts as to the pros and cons?

I have built homes before, milling the lumber with a chainsaw mill, I have the tools needed for both types of building, I have logs and trees available at the site but the logs would need to be hauled mostly by hand. Trees are spruce or western hemlock. I like the log option because I wouldn't need to spend an eternity milling siding and interior wall coverings as I would with a timberframe, however the logs will be a lot more work to get to the site because of the hand hauling. Timberframe would need expensive insulation where log would not. Timberframe might go up faster and would certainly entail less heavy hauling of wood. I have built small buildings both timberframe and log so I am familiar with both methods and comfortable doing either but this would be the biggest project I have tackled yet. Both buildings would be two story and around 1,000 sq feet each.

One main goal would be to use as little purchased materials as possible and all of the lumber would be milled with the Alaska mill on or near the house site. No building codes here.

Any input at all would be great!
We have done pretty much what is pictured in Judiths post and it is working well. Our slope is much steeper though. Closer to 60 degrees and some spots are easily 80 degrees. Its not possible to walk directly up. Ours is facing a lake and gets incredibly hot during the summer even here in Alaska. Our elevation rise is about 100 feet from the lakeshore to the upper gardens and there is on average, summer and winter, 15f degree higher temp at the top. I can ripen tomatoes in the upper beds made of rock and I cannot in the lower beds. So far the stone terraces are holding up very well. The most important thing I learned when making them is to have a solid and flat foundation, which entails a lot of work with a pick and shovel. Then I backfill as a Hugel bed with as much rotting seaweed, wood, brush and salmon carcasses as I can fit. And a good layer of sifted soil, lake muck and glacial silt. Things grow wonderfully.
That totally depends on where you are surviving. And why. For me, in a situation, I would be on foot or in a canoe. In really rough terrain. Packing light would be the ultimate need. For tools, my Gransfors Bruks axe, three auger bits, pocket knife, hand saw, couple of chisels, fishing hooks, line and a few lures. A firearm and ammo. Plenty of rope. AProper clothing. More clothing can be scrounged about anywhere in the country. A pot with a lid and a pan. Several methods of firestarting. Binoculars, which could totally change the hunting or scouting situation.
But I live in the Alaska bush so it would be different for most of you.
1 year ago
My wife and I did it. Got married and moved up here to Alaska right off. Bought land, hand built a small cabin with lumber from our land and got a good garden going. Four years and two boys later we are doing well. It can be done but its not easy and it does take a special kind of couple. Not all folks can take it up here. Helps to like long dark winters reading, hauling firewood through the snow and ice fishing. And isolation. We would totally do it again.